S M Krishna to visit Russia next week

Moscow: External Affairs Minister SM Krishna will visit Russia next week to co-chair the Indo-Russian Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation, Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday.

"Krishna will visit Russia on November 17-19 to attend the 17th session of the Intergovernmental Joint Commission," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich was on Thursday said.

Besides co-chairing the Joint Commission session with Vice Premier Sergei Ivanov, Krishna will also finalise the non-military cooperation agenda for the Moscow summit next month.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will visit Russia on December 16-17 to attend the summit at the invitation of President Dmitry Medvedev.

Krishna is also scheduled to hold key talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Lukashevich said.

Earlier on Thursday, addressing the Fifth Indo-Russian Business Forum in the presence of Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Vice Premier Ivanov announced that the first block of Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu will be commissioned by the end of this year.

He also said that India will be the main Russian partner in the commercialising the GLONASS, space-based navigation system to rival the US Pentagon controlled Global Positioning System (GPS).

According to earlier Russian media reports during his last month`s Moscow visit for the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation, Defence Minister AK Antony had reached an agreement for receiving signals from GLONASS military segment for the precision guidance of Indian missiles and aircraft.